Home / My Blog / Questions About Myofunctional Therapy – Part One

I get a lot of emails and contact submission forms from my website. People reach out for help with any number of health concerns related to their myofunctional issues. Mouth breathing is still the number one reason I hear from potential patients, but they also contact me because of conditions such as jaw pain, orthodontic treatment, speech issues and sleep problems, as well as concerns about their posture or appearance.

I thought that sharing some of their stories might prove helpful if you or someone in your family is dealing with similar issues. After you read these emails, you might realize that you’re not alone when it comes to questions about myofunctional therapy.

All names and locations have been changed but these are all real patients and real emails.

 

orthodontic treatment

The muscles of the mouth and face can have a huge effect on the results of orthodontic treatment.

Kelly from Minnesota asked a great question about how her tongue could affect the success of her orthodontic treatment:

“I have a tongue thrusting habit, and will get braces in the future to try to correct my anterior open bite caused by tongue thrust.

I have been exploring tongue thrust and open bite on the Internet for the last week or so, and was amazed to learn that my tongue should be resting on the roof of my mouth! What a revelation, and what a huge difference from my natural tongue resting place. I’ve been practicing correct swallowing technique as described on a couple of Internet videos, and honestly had no idea of the roof of my mouth was supposed to be involved in the process at all.

I understand that therapy is the best way to ensure that my orthodontic treatment is successful in the long term, and would like to begin whatever exercises are necessary for my particular situation as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing back from you, and hopefully working together via Skype in the near future.”

 

Monique from New Jersey asked about her mouth breathing problem. Switching from breathing through your mouth to breathing through your nose can be extremely difficult because it’s usually a habit that’s been there since childhood:

“I had chronic allergies (dust, dairy, mold, pets) and asthma as a child as well as quite a bit of bronchitis, which resulted in me always breathing through my mouth. Even eating with my mouth closed was difficult!

As an adult I have taken steps to reduce allergies (air purifier, better diet, no pets – I’ve even noticed that lower stress = less allergies) and although it’s much better than when I was a child, I am still often congested, especially in my nose. I still breathe through my mouth all the time. I’ve become increasingly athletic in the last five years and I’m noticing that my mouth breathing is hampering some of those activities as well as likely hurting my overall health. I would love to be able to just breathe through my nose!

The problem seems somewhat cyclical: when I breathe through my mouth I don’t filter the air going into my lungs, and therefore react more to it and am more congested.

This may also be relevant: I had braces, including headgear, as a teen. Also, I have a deviated septum which I was presumably born with. Any expertise and help you have to offer would be appreciated!”

 

Sleep Apnea

Breathing through your mouth can lead to all kinds of problems with sleep. You don’t want to end up like this guy!

Todd from San Diego also had a question about how his orthodontic treatment might be affected by his myofunctional issues.

“I have been getting braces put on my teeth in stages for a while. When I got my first one was the first night I notice that I was mouth breathing. 

Now I can’t sleep because I’m breathing through my mouth all night. I dry out really fast and wake up with my mouth and throat burning. When I told the orthodontist this he said that the jaw muscles naturally relax as the jaw aligns itself properly and that it’s natural to breathe through the mouth. He seems to think this is okay but I’m not so sure about that.

The braces come off in two months and the orthodontist thinks it may correct itself by then but I’ve begged him to let me use rubber bands on my front upper and lower hooks to help my mouth stay shut. It helps but what else can I do? I dread if the braces come off and I’m still mouth breathing. Help! I can’t keep losing sleep over this mouth breathing issue!”

 

Rachael from Sydney also asked about mouth breathing. As you can see, it’s had an impact on her health and her well-being:

“I’ve been mouth-breathing since I can remember. Most of my baby photos are of me with my mouth ajar. I’ve been struggling with hayfever for my entire life, and have not come to terms with how or what triggers this (research suggests I have rhinitis). My boyfriend has trouble sleeping because I snore, given most of the time, I have a severely blocked nose that continuously clogs. This issue is distressing as I frequently receive comments such as “You’re a loud breather”. I’ve been bullied because of this habit, and had no idea it had impacts on health.”

These four patients are just a few examples of how people can struggle with myofunctional issues. It’s sad that I’m sometimes the very first practitioner they see who is able to recognize that the tongue and breathing are such important factors, and play such a huge role in what’s happening to their mouth, speech, teeth and jaw.

If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me right here.

 
 

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